Originally created 12/09/96

Lady Chiefs star rates top girl player billing



Scealita Drennon is the most skilled big girl maybe to ever walk the halls at McCormick (S.C.) High School.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior forward is a returning All-State selection and the area's No. 1 girls basketball player this season.

Chiefs coach George Edwards says he has had trouble having the in-state Division I powers, Clemson and South Carolina, look at his players in the past because they might not be big enough or skilled enough to play at that level.

That's not the case with Drennon.

"She's one of the best players we've ever had here," said Edwards, who's in his 11th year as girls coach, but has served more than 30 years as the school's science teacher.

"Because of the size of our school, we haven't had the highly recruited player because they either lacked the size or the skills. I've never had a big versatile center like she is."

Drennon averaged 19.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest as a junior at McCormick. She opened her senior season by scoring 31 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking four shots in a 69-65 loss to Strom Thurmond last Thursday.

Her career high is 39 points set last season against Lincoln County. She is a two-time All-Region selection and averaged 17 points and 7.5 rebounds as a sophomore.

"She always could run the floor," Edwards said. "Early in her career, she wasn't that good of a rebounder. But she has developed into an all-around player. She's the first one down the floor on a fast break and she has great hands and can really jump."

Drennon took the SAT for the first time on Saturday in Greenwood. Edwards says he has checked with the NCAA Clearinghouse and was told that Drennon would have all the necessary core courses by the end of the season to be eligible as a freshman.

"She didn't think she was going to go to college (and play basketball)," said Edwards of Drennon. "But she has kept growing and kept getting better each year. She's really hitting the books hard."

Edwards says Drennon is the best player he has had or faced since current Clemson standout Itoro Umoh, a guard, was at Hephzibah.

He said she does have one flaw but that's not her fault.

"She needs to work on her defense a little bit," Edwards said. "In practice, she doesn't have to work hard on defense because we don't have anybody who can push her. She can sit there and block shots all day. I try to put my other big girl on her (6-foot-1, sophomore Socorro Dennis), but she doesn't have the bulk yet."

Drennon and Dennis, the area's top inside duo, are the keys for McCormick in the Region 1-A race that also features Ware Shoals and Ridge Spring-Monetta, coached by former Curtis Baptist coach Sam Lilly. Curtis Baptist, under Lilly, won the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA state title last season.

Despite the 31 points in the opener, Edwards thinks she could have scored even more points.

"She had 20 at halftime and then we stopped getting the ball to her in the second half," Edwards said. "We have to give her the ball. She's dominant inside. I can't recall another girl with the bulk and skills that she has."